Nuuk – Ilulissat, Greenland

Greenland is the worlds largest island, but about 80% of it is permanently covered in ice. The inland of Greenland is harsh and provides no shelter or place to permanently live for people, so all settlements, towns and cities off Greenland are near the Coast. 

Nuuk, starting point of this voyage, is the capital of Greenland. Flights to Nuuk from Reykjavik are daily. And although in winter time the ice wins land and spreads out also into the bay of Nuuk. In the summer time Nuuk is free of most forms of ice. The city houses a large part of the population of Greenland. Once founded by early settlers and called ‘Good Hope’, it was only after the second world war, when the Greenlandic National identity was reawakened that the city was renamed, Nuuk, translated this means Cape. 

Setting sail North to Ilulissat, there is much exploring to do along the way. Depending on wind, and weather conditions and taking in account any Ice anomalies like Storis – sea ice – making its way around the south cape. 

The first day might be used to sail to Maniitsoq. The surroundings were formally known as Sukkertoppen. This name came from Dutch, German and British whalers in the 17th and 18th century, who recognized in the hills the forms of ‘sugar loafs’. Now known as Kangaamiut. 

Another beautiful place with a whaling history is Ukiivik (Sydbay). A sheltered anchorage can be found here among one of the many low islands. Taking the dinghy ashore, it is a good surrounding to go for a hike. The hills are accessible and from the lighthouse some amazing pictures can be taken. 

Not looking for a perfect picture or a long hike, remains of the old whaling station can still be found ashore. Go and explore! 

With more possible stops like Attu or Kangaatsiaq along the way. The Tecla will slowly make her way to Disko Bay. 

Wikipedia tells us :

Disko Bay has been an important location for centuries. Its coastline was first encountered by Europeans when Erik the Red started a settlement in 985 AD on the more habitable western coast of Greenland. The two settlements, called the Eastern and Western settlements, were sustenance economies that survived on animal husbandry and farming. Soon after the Western settlement was established, the Norsemen travelled up the coast during the summer thaw and discovered Disko Bay.

Inuits posing for a picture on board a Tall Ship

In Disko Bay there are several beautiful places that can be visited. Anchorages around Disko Island are well sheltered and accessible. Some of the islands will not be open to the public as Arctic Terns will be nesting. 

On Basisø an old abandoned settlement can be visited with old Sod houses dug into the hillside. And all the way in the North of Disko Fjord lies Atanikerdluk, once visited by a group of explorers out to find the Franklin Expedition. McClintock, in charge of the expedition has said about the area 

I do not know a more enticing spot in Greenland for a week of fishing and yachting, than Disko Fjord

As much as possible will be explored during this 11 day long voyage. 

Ilulissat will be the end port of the voyage. The nearby glacier Sermeq Kujalleq will riddle the water with Bergy bits, Growlers and more forms of ice. Navigating into the Fjord will be depending on ice density and weather forecasts. Which will make it all the more interesting. 

Ilulissat itself is a busy fishing port with little over 4000 inhabitants. Which is a lot less then the estimate of 5000 sled dogs that also live in Ilulissat. The town has, in a basic form, all you can need. A bakery, some shops, a hotel, a youth hostel and an airstrip. From Ilulissat one can fly to Kangerlussuaq, to catch a connecting flight to Europe. 

Discover the West Coast of Greenland

15 - 25 years old €1.925
>25 years old €2.200

Whales spotted from the Tecla

20 - 30 July